A server took a break from shucking oysters and shaking martinis to deliver my supper: a hat-sized bowl of plump, steaming mussels. I’d just finished snowshoeing along the Presumpscot River and was perched at the seafood counter at Scales, an upscale restaurant on a fishing wharf in the Old Port section of Portland, Maine. The mussels were the best I’d ever had, and I noticed the guy next to me — with wind-chapped cheeks and a graying goatee — savoring his own bowlful. “Where are they from?” I asked. “Me,” he said. Gary Moretti, along with his son, Matthew, runs Bangs Island Mussels in a warehouse just behind the restaurant. They harvest the sweet little bivalves from ropes that dangle below rafts several miles offshore, motor them to the wharf and then deliver them to area restaurants. Succulent and fresh, this dinner was a far cry from my first taste of Maine a couple of decades earlier when I had the equivalent of a dining cliché: … [Read more...] about Why Portland is Maine’s culinary capital
Chefs warehouse cape town
Sub House: On a stretch of Fowler Street better known for used-car lots and gritty warehouse space, Sub House is a red-and-yellow beacon of sandwich hope. Its steak and cheese has become my go-to. With so-so steak sandwiches a dime a dozen in these parts, Sub House exceeds all expectations — with freshly baked bread that squishes just so, and gobs of thinly cut steak held together by caramelized onions and gooey strings of cheese. It’s salty, beefy, soul-soothing — and just plain good. (2610 Fowler St., Fort Myers; 267-0592; thesubhousefm.com) More: Big, stuffed subs find home in Fort MyersCaribbean Flair (and its entire plaza, really): A reader called me out the other day, saying I’d over-sung the praises of this Jamaican joint in Cape Coral. So I went back, fell in love all over again, and firmly stand by all my initial acclaim. Caribbean Flair is a homey place, with very simple décor. But the flavors chefs and owners Rupert and Marvia … [Read more...] about JLB picks: 5 restaurants you don’t know (and should)
Dreams don't come easily. Just ask Scott Melick."I've brewed beer since 1989," he said. "That was before anyone knew or cared what craft beer was, so, yeah, a brewery like this, this has always been my dream."Twenty-seven years and a few successful non-beer businesses later, the 53-year-old Melick is close to realizing that dream — in a massive way.He's opening Scotty's Bierwerks early next year in a 10,000-square-foot industrial space off of Pondella Road in Cape Coral. With a 20-barrel brewing system, Melick says Scotty's will be the largest craft brewery between Tampa and Miami. For comparison, Fat Point Brewing in Punta Gorda uses a 15-barrel system, while Fort Myers Brewing's system is 10-barrel.Scotty's will be just the third craft brewery to set up shop in the Cape, and the first outside of the south Cape."I did not want to do this in south Cape. I wanted to bring this to a new part of Cape Coral," Melick said. "I don't want this to be just … [Read more...] about A La Carte: SWFL’s biggest brewery coming to Cape Coral
On most coasts, tidal changes are a gentle drama. Waters ebb and return gradually and the difference between high and low tides is but a few feet. But in Maritime Canada - Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the Bay of Fundy in particular - it's a big production number, the biggest in the world. You can actually see the sea recede or flow back, and low tides leave boats moored in mud flats when the water disappears. So in these two provinces, coastal roads are the way to go. Each particular region in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick has its own designated scenic drive that winds along near the sea. Setting out from Halifax (where you'll fly into), you can go east or west, along the Marine Drive or Lighthouse Route, respectively. One of the most amazing ways to start a journey, however, would be to drive an hour or two north to the town of Truro, then head west along the Glooscap Trail. This drive, named after a hero of Indian legends, puts you alongside the waters of the Minas … [Read more...] about Go Canada!